Thursday, October 4, 2007
I Know You Like My Style
It's October, in the midst of the beginning of the first training camp under a new coach, so, as is always the case, players are expressing their love of the coach's new style of play and throwing politically correct shots at the previous regime.
The Rockets have already started continuing this trend, greasing up to new coach Rick Adeldam, the free-flowing, former leader of high-scoring offenses, while dispelling the previous system set by former coach Jeff Van Gundy, the posterboy of grind-it-out, defense first and second, and consistent scoring in the 80s.
For the record, count me in as another supporter of Adelman over JVG. That's mostly because of Adelman's fluid offense and up-and-down style fits perfectly with the roster Daryl Morey has built this offseason. Van Gundy's head would have exploded if he had to coach a team with 7 point guards, 3 of which used to scoring big numbers, and 1 of which is Steve Francis.
The world knows the story between Stevie and Van Gundy. There was the constant bickering, the Super Bowl fiasco in 2004, and the simple fact that Francis had his worst season as a Rocket under Jeff, and you can see how him coming back to Houston would have limited the types of players we could have added this past summer.
Instead, Steve will thrive under Adelman, who will most likely have the point guard facilitate the offense instead of Tracy McGrady, who was the prime distributor under Van Gundy. Mac led the team in assists last year, mostly because we had an inconsistent starting point guard that simply wasn't ready to lead a great team. But he's gone now....oops, sorry Rafer. Anywoo..
Career-wise, Adelman trumps Van Gundy, but only slightly. Rick took the Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals in '90 and '92, losing to the Pistons and Bulls, respectively. Jeff took the Knicks to the Finals after Patrick Ewing got hurt in the '99 lockout season that absolutely never happened.
Adelman, however, led another team to the brink of the promised land. The 2002 Kings were one win away from going on to sweep the Nets in the Finals, but faltered late in Game 7 against the Lakers. Van Gundy hasn't gotten past the second round since that mystical Finals run.
So, yeah, the Rockets players are saying the mandatory "I love his style of play" jibberish that dudes always say under new head coaches, but at least it isn't for naught. We should see a lot more 100-point games this season and we definitely should see a second-round playoff game at Toyota Center.